Show Less
Restricted access

The Topology of Being

The Poetics of Charles Olson


Judith Halden-Sullivan

This study interprets Charles Olson's articulation of Being's primacy through a close Heideggerian reading of his prose tracts. It avoids the inadvertent man-centeredness pervasive in much Olson criticism, and within the context of Heideggerian hermeneutic phenomenology, this text asserts that Olson's poetics offers not simply an argument for structural displacement but a careful measurement of what is: a listening and responding to Being's connectedness that is «sewn in and binding/each seam» of the world. This study reveals Olson's grappling with the nature of the world, truth, the human mode of being, and language, and it concludes by arguing that in experiencing Olson's «topology», readers are afforded the opportunity to become topologists themselves: they are challenged to gauge their own openness to Being's address.
Contents: Chapter One: A Poet in a Destitute Time - Chapter Two: «We are estranged from that with which we are most familiar»: World and Truth - Chapter Three: Being Open - Chapter Four: In the Land of the Saying of Being - Afterword: The Discipline of the Familiar.